top of page

The Battery (2013)

'The Battery' is a 2013 American zombie horror movie made with a mere $6000 shoe string budget and shot within 15 days. Writer, director, producer and even leading role actor of the battery Jeremy Gardner stated that the majority of the film was unscripted and improvised heavily as the production went on. Everything about that brief synopsis sounds like 'The Battery' was a movie destined for failure from the off. As always, curiosity got the better of my and I had to know how this final product played out, only to discover what would be one of the most heartfelt and admirable indie movie projects I had seen for years.

The central focus of the movie is two former baseball players, Ben played by director Jeremy Gardner, and Mickey played by co-producer Adam Cronheim as they travel the rural roads of New England as they learn to survive the devastated landscape of a zombie apocalypse. It's very clear from the performances alone that these two are very passionate about making this movie a success. The relationship between them feels genuine and the the compelling nature or their complex character dynamic is something that really helps keep investment in the movie to an optimal level. Given that these two actors are the only characters on screen for 99% of the movie, I found them both to deliver exceptionally natural and engaging performances.

Given the budgetary restrictions in place whilst making this movie, I think it is outstanding how director Jeremy Gardner manages to flawlessly demonstrates how to steer the direction of a movies narrative when dealing with limited resources, locations and cast members. Its difficult not to show admiration to Gardner's vision as a director, as he showcases incredible talent by framing his shots in a way that your imagination becomes just as vital as the events unfolding on screen. I strongly believe that a higher production value would have compromised a lot of the raw filmmaking that makes 'The Battery' the standout movie it is.

Although being a zombie movie, we rarely see zombies on screen. Isolation is always at the forefront of the movie, and due to the pop culture knowledge of zombies, we as an audience know there is an ever looming presence of danger and threat without showcasing it to us. The decision to focus the movie around the dysfunctional independence of the two central characters rather than the apocalypse itself is what makes 'The Battery' a masterclass in subtlety. I will say though, that the brief instances we do get introduced to a zombie, the make up and effects work are rather impressive and done to a much higher standard than I initially expected.

The soundtrack and score throughout is a really big highlight for me and comes from self-taught composer Ryan Winford. His use of a folk/country twang accompanies the extremely isolated tone of the movie, and its soundtrack which features indie bands such as 'Wise Blood', 'The Parlor' and 'Sun Hotel' is a soundtrack I have had playing on loop since watching 'The Battery'. The way that these tracks are implemented into the movie is also a clever technique that I have to assume Gardner is responsible for. The character of Mickey has a CD Walkman that he is always using to drown out the noise of either zombies or Ben, his intolerable and obnoxious apocalypse partner, and it is this Walkman that is the vessel for introducing and ending various moments of soundtrack to the movie.

Overall, 'The Battery' came as one of the most surprising movies I have seen in recent years. This microbudget passion project stands head and shoulders above the vast majority of the high end zombie movies that have come out in the past decade. It is a perfect showcase of how the story and character development is what is vital to making these types of apocalypse movies engaging to the audience. Gardner is a filmmaker I was unaware of until seeing this, but I will be following his career from here on out. I implore you all to watch 'The Battery' and give this movie the cult status it so rightly deserves.



bottom of page